Does Your New Product Idea Solve A Problem?
One important factor in determining if your new product will succeed is the new product’s ability to solve a problem for its potential users. Not all successful new products solve problems but many of them do. Consumers have an abundance of choices and if you cannot clearly identify how your new product is beneficial to them, there is a good chance it might not be very compelling. Who will your new product help? How many people could it help? Will people pay money to have the problem solved?
Energizer developed a new hearing aid battery that solved the problem of users dropping the batteries when they were being replaced because the batteries slipped out of their hands. The new Energizer product made it very easy for the user the change the battery. The new product included a new dispenser that helped the user achieve precise placement of the battery every time without even touching the battery. The question before launching this new product, however, was does the consumer see this as valuable and will they buy this product over others because of this innovation?
Through some clever observational and focus group research the company discovered that changing hearing aid batteries was, in fact, a significant problem the needed a solution. When asked to describe or demonstrate the process of changing their hearing aid batteries it became obvious that users were having a problem with this. Many told stories of how they lost batteries in their pocket or purse or dropped batteries because the oils on their hands made the batteries slippery. Observations of focus group respondents changing hearing aid batteries confirmed this difficulty.
To make sure the new product was really practical from a user standpoint the qualitative research was followed by a series of in-home usage trials. The results of these tests were also very positive. Finally, a survey was conducted to quantify the consumer’s intent to purchase the new hearing aid batteries. Based on this research the new product was launched. It was called “EZ Change” and quickly became the fastest growing brand in the hearing aid market. This new product, coupled with a brilliant marketing plan, resulted in an explosion of sales which moved Energizer to the number one position in the hearing aid battery category.
Energizer’s EZ Change hearing aid batteries are a good example of a new product that succeeded because it solved a consumer problem. If you are in the process of evaluating a new product, it might be a good idea to determine if the new product solves a problem for its potential users. Determining if the new innovation is really relevant can be an important clue as to if it really has a chance to succeed in the marketplace before investing a huge amount of time and money in launching the new product.
Good luck with your new product.
Winslow Bud Johnson
Stamford Marketing Group, Inc.
Note: If you would like professional help in determining the likely success of your new product give me a call at 203-348-2356 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Stamford Marketing Group specializes in evaluating new product ideas. Over the past 40 years we have helped over 50 sophisticated companies throughout America, Canada, Europe and Asia predict the success of their new product introductions. .